Nigerian filmmakers have complained about the huge differences between the rates offered by the United States-based streaming platform Netflix for Nigerian films and those of their Asian and European industries.
Some of them stated that Netflix’s fee did not reflect market rates as the average license cost for Nollywood was between $10,000 and $90,000 while Netflix planned to spend $500 million on movies and series released in Asia and Europe. were produced.
Nollywood pundits also expressed concern about Netflix’s continued industry dominance.
Since its foray into Nigeria, the streaming giant has gained a firm grip on the country’s film industry, with many film producers now more interested in having their projects on the platform than in cinemas, The Verge reports.
But experts say the trend will be detrimental to Nollywood’s growth if left unchecked.
In response, Moses Babatope, director of FilmOne Entertainment, the country’s trendiest distribution organization, said the situation is caused by a lack of money for Nigerian filmmakers.
“There were some concerns about the production quality of Nollywood movies, but instead of blaming the intrusion of streaming platforms, I will focus more on the level of investment in production,” he said.
“How much production budget do these filmmakers work with? I don’t believe a passionate filmmaker is willing to let go of standards when there’s money to work with.”
Aside from the dominance, there are also concerns about Netflix’s compensation rate for Nigerian films and other African projects.
Netflix offers compensation that it believes is reflective of market rates.
This equates to average licensing costs between $10,000 and $90,000, with most deals landing near the mid-range according to off-the-record talks with producers.
But by comparison, Netflix plans to spend $500 million this year alone on movies and series produced in South Korea, the same amount the company announced it was spending in the UK in 2019 on its production. content creation and licensing.
At the heart of this inequality lies a critical discussion of how African art is valued in mainstream spaces.
Speaking of which, Walter Taylaur, who has licensed two of his films on the platform, states: “Their explanation would make more sense if the films were only shown in Nigeria. But if you think the content is good enough to be shown in global markets, maybe pay global fees.”